Muni-WiFi player Azulstar shifts gears to WiMAX

Muni-WiFi vendor Azulstar said it plans to upgrade all of its existing muni-WiFi networks with WiMAX. Using equipment from Airspan Networks and Redline Communications, Azulstar will roll out WiMAX across 15 cities in the Midwest and Southwest, including the nation's first muni-WiFi market Grand Haven, Mich., which will be the first market to upgrade. The vendor is using licensed 3.6 GHz spectrum.

The WiMAX network is in final stages of testing in Grand Haven and first customers are being connected. The network will overlay the existing unlicensed WiFi mesh networks, which will continue to operate supporting visitors and residential customers as long as there is demand. Legacy WiFi customers wanting to move to WiMAX will receive a discount toward their adapter.

Azulstar, which cites WiMAX as having better economics, performance and reliability, said it will continue its strategy of owning and operating municipal wireless networks in regions where it can also deploy licensed-spectrum WiMAX. In existing Azulstar projects where WiFi technology is the only viable option due to spectrum limitations, Azulstar has migrated to a subcontractor role, assisting the municipalities and partners achieve their goals, but no longer acting as the network owner.

To find out more about Azulstar's WiMAX plans:
- check out this release

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